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Best/Worst of 2008 in Television

Best/Worst of 2008 in Television

I watch a lot of television. I’ve broken it down into 4 relatively arbitrary categories: Animated, Comedy, Drama and Sci Fi/Fantasy. I left Reality sows off the list because, really, no one cares. Some may argue with the categories, but, Hell, it’s my list, so screw Ëœem.

The programs on this list represent shows that were new or ongoing in 2008. As a result, some of them are from the end of last season and some are from the Fall premieres this season. There were some programs that I discovered or were broadcast for the first time in America in 2008 (Primeval, Sarah Jane Adventures) but they were originally produced and/or run in 2007 in the U.K. I did not include them in my choices though they are on the complete list.

I didn’t always have enough to fill out a full 10 shows for each category, so some are a little light. In order from least bad to worst and in order from good to best, here are my top picks.

Animated

Aqua Teen Hunger ForceWorst of 2008:

  1. Aqua Teen Hunger Force “ What was seriously edgy, surrealist humor became pure random nonsense this season. It was like watching a 5-year old paint on the wall with crayons.
  2. King of the Hill “ This show hasn’t been funny since… Ever. Really.
  3. The Simpsons “ I haven’t laughed in 3 seasons now.

Best of 2008:

  1. The Venture Brothers “ Bitingly good satire of all the Saturday morning cartoons we grew up on.
  2. Family Guy “ See Above.
  3. Robot Chicken “ What needs to be said about this show that we haven’t all said before?
  4. Batman: The Brave and The Bold “ I thought I would hate this show, but something about it’s bubblegum sensibility really caught me up in it.

Comedy

Kath & Kim USAWorst of 2008:

  1. Kath and Kim “ I turned this off after 10 minutes. The characters and writing were that abhorrent.
  2. Little Britain USA “ The original Brit-version was hit or miss. This one is all miss. A combination of generic skits that could be set anywhere with skits that are broad American stereotypes but have no insight or wit. Watch Tracey Takes On to see how an English(wo)man really skewers Americans.
  3. Big Bang Theory “ Sorry to any who can stand this, but these are non-geeks writing what they think geeks are like, but with a laugh track.
  4. Gary Unmarried “ I watched it because I like Jay Mohr, but this is stock-standard sitcom fare.
  5. Testees “ A lame attempt by FX to capitalize on the same sense of humor as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

How I Met Your MotherBest of 2008:

  1. How I Met Your Mother “ Consistently well-written and it has NPH! Also, the writers for this show and Chuck write geeks better than the Big Bang Theory. Jokes carry over from episode to episode, so doesn’t feel like a one-and-done sitcom. I really, really enjoy this show.
  2. The Office “ It is a well-written show. It’s not the U.K. Version, but it shouldn’t be a retread. Over the life of the show, they’ve made the format they’re own and managed to grow the characters without losing the essence of the show.
  3. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia “ You either love it or hate it. It’s rude, crude, irreverent and offensive.
  4. Chuck “ In addition to being good fun, Adam Baldwin is always great to watch. This is the show you should watch instead of Big Bang Theory.
  5. My Name Is Earl “ Coming off of a rocky last season, they’ve found their legs again this Fall.

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About The Author

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Scott is an art director, writer and comics creator living in Los Angeles. He has been a pop culture maven from a very young age. His very first job was as a manager of a comic book store. He spent several years working in a video store, and yes, we are talking VHS tapes. A student of literature and Writing, he brings his obsessive love of comic book trivia, movie history and science fiction/fantasy writing to bear on the work he does for CoolShite.

Article Information

  • Posted: Saturday, January 24th, 2009
  • Author: Scott From LA
  • Filed Under: Opinion,TV

Comments

12 Responses to “Best/Worst of 2008 in Television”
  1. avatar Bruce Moyle says:

    Wow, massive article :-)

    I got to agree with Generation Kill and Breaking Bad. Both where awesome. I hope there is more Breaking Bad coming soon as I want to see where that story leads.

    The end of Boston Legal was heart warming.

    As much as Qdog likes it, Knight Rider is a piece of shit but I’ll admit it isn’t as bad as Flash Gordon thou.

  2. I am glad to see another fan of how I met your
    Mother. Thinking about the running gags in it my favourite is the ” psychic conversations” the characters sometimes have.

  3. avatar Anakin64 says:

    Scott, Great read. Good to see someone else also keen on Chuck. It’s one of those shows that I happilly use my download limit on. I was disappointed to see Journeyman finish, but I also look forward to the return of Reaper.

  4. Bruce – Breaking Bad is coming back for a second season. Premieres Sunday March 8, 2009 on AMC channel the U.S. Very much looking forward to it.

    Knight Rider (and anyone who is watching it) is destroying as we know it.

    Shaded Spriter – My favorite was “The Slap”! They made that one last almost half a season!

    Anakin64 – Thank you! Really looking forward to Reaper. You should check out the webisodes for Chuck, they’re also pretty funny. And how nice is it that they try to write in a scene with Yvonne Strahovski (an Aussie!) in next to nothing every episode?!

  5. avatar bobobob_100 says:

    me particularly i cant stand the new episodes of family guy sence about three seasons ago

  6. avatar romain says:

    very happy with the number one spot for how I met your mother, great show but where is Dexter???????? I love that show!

    • avatar Bruce Moyle says:

      Excellent point Romain. Dexter is also the bomb and amazes me that each season that movie it to somewhere new and interesting.

    • Dexter this season didn’t interest me as much as previous years, I stopped at about episode 4 or 5, I have 4-9/5-10 DVRed and I couldn’t be bothered to actually watch them.

    • I’ve heard Dexter is an excellent show.

      Unfortunately, I never made it absolutely clear that this list is made up from the TV shows that I have watched (that’s why the complete list is at the end of the article). Sadly, I have never seen an episode of Dexter.

      Yeah, yeah, I know, I know.

      I don’t have Showtime (the channel it plays on here), haven’t bought the box sets (too many other things on my list I want first), don’t have Netflix (still working through current TV and DVDs to want to pay monthly for that) and because I choose not to download content by other means, for personal reasons, I haven’t seen Dexter yet.

      … Yet. :)

  7. avatar romain says:

    Shaded Spriter

    When you say you are disappointed with Dexter this season you must be talking about seson 3.
    Season 3 hasn’t come out in France yet and we’re currently getting season 2.

  8. avatar Trey says:

    I”m going to have to dissagree with you on Big Bang Theory. Season 2 of that show was fantastic (I think it may still be in it’s seconds season).

    King of the Hill started to turn bad in about it’s 8th season. The early episodes were genius and funnier than the Simpons and Family Guy in my opinion. But it went from being really funny to being what felt like a drama with a little humor thrown in for good measure. But it’s been canceled now.

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